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Historic! Cruzeiro knocked out by Sousa-PB in the 2024 Copa do Brasil

Copa do Brasil 2024 Sousa-PB vence cruzeiro 2024 Copa do Brasil

The 2024 Copa do Brasil has barely begun and it already presents us with one of its biggest surprises in history!

Join us as we explore everything surrounding the match in which the modest Sousa, from the state of Paraíba, eliminated Cruzeiro, the competition’s most successful team.

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Get to Know Sousa-PB

The Copa do Brasil 2024 kicks off, along with its first phase.

Ninety-two clubs from all over the Brazilian mainland will vie for the championship title.

Although this does little to bridge the technical disparities caused by the financial gap between big and small teams, the tournament’s first phase is played in a single match, with the lower-ranked team hosting. Conversely, the better-ranked team, according to the CBF, plays for a draw.

Thus, Cruzeiro, the most successful team in the Copa do Brasil with six titles, sought to advance against the modest Sousa from Paraíba. But who exactly is this team?

Unknown to the vast majority of Brazilians, Sousa bears the name of its city. Located in the northeast region of Brazil, the state of Paraíba boasts regional heavyweight teams like Treze and Campinense, but on the interstate and especially national scene, they are considered small clubs.

The city of Sousa has its peculiarities. It is located in the semi-arid region of Paraíba, often suffering from low rainfall. Additionally, it is 432km away from the capital, João Pessoa.

Now, beyond the city’s team, which is making headlines today, Sousa is known as the city of dinosaurs, as there is a large archaeological site where several fossils have been found.

The team’s badge even features a very friendly dinosaur.

Sousa Esporte Clube was founded in 1991, making it a club of only 32 years. Despite this, it has already made its mark on the state scene, having won the Campeonato Paraibano twice, in 1994 and 2009.

Sousa, paraíba sousa esporte clube campinense clube campeonato paraibano botafogo futebol clube, joinha, deporte, personaje de ficción, Brasil png | PNGWing

Furthermore, it has competed in the Serie C and D of the Campeonato Brasileiro, with a good performance in the last national division in 2023, finishing in 5th place.

At this moment, the club is having its best season in the Copa do Brasil, as in the five previous occasions it had never progressed beyond the first phase, but the story was different on the rainy night of February 21, 2024.

Sousa, cidade dos dinossauros | NordesteTur


Sousa-PB 2 x 0 Cruzeiro – 2024 Copa do Brasil

On one side, the modest but very brave Sousa, as described above.

On the other, one of Brazil’s biggest clubs, Cruzeiro. A team that needs no introduction, as it has two Libertadores titles, four-time Brazilian champion, and most importantly, what the fans are most proud of, six Copa do Brasil titles, the most successful.

On one side, a payroll of around R$ 200,000, on the other, one of at least R$ 8 million. Yes, one is 40 times bigger than the other.

To give you an idea, according to sources, just the salary of Matheus Pereira, Cruzeiro’s main player, is around R$ 1.1 million.

But when you’re on the field and you have discipline, numbers don’t matter. The only ones present are the 22 men, giving their all for victory, in 90 minutes plus injury time.

Even before any points, it must be emphasized. Sousa-PB deserved the qualification for every minute they spent on the field. Despite all the adversities, they were better than their opponent for the vast majority of the match.

Throughout the first half, Cruzeiro created two opportunities, coming from poorly elaborated plays and shots from outside the area.

Meanwhile, Sousa-PB regulated the marking very well, choosing to apply half-pressure at times and dropping back at others.

As a result, they created more than three goal-scoring opportunities, one of them being a rocket shot by Leozinho that hit the crossbar. Additionally, goalkeeper Rafael Cabral made two good saves.

Still, in the middle of the first half, the sertão of Paraíba was blessed with a torrential rain, something not very common in the region.

This made the game slower. Cruzeiro, who came with a passing game proposal, did not realize that this type of game would not be possible under those conditions.

As the second half began and with the state of the pitch complicated, something very serious happened. Cruzeiro, with all its greatness, withdrew its players and began to waste time, with the intention of qualifying by regulation.

A true shame for all Cruzeiro fans, even if the qualification had occurred. Since it did not happen, the shame becomes even greater.

What Cruzeiro did not count on amid the withdrawal and each delay in ball placement was the entry of an absolutely illuminated player: Danillo Bala.

Quem é Danilo Bala, do Sousa, algoz do Cruzeiro na Copa do Brasil - Rádio Itatiaia

Image: Reprodução GE

In the dying minutes, at 88′, Ewerton makes a beautiful play on the goal line and tries to cross into the middle. The ball deflects off Cruzeiro’s defense, hits the crossbar, and offers itself to the night’s hero. He shoots with his left foot and paves the way for the unprecedented qualification.

From then on, all the sluggishness of Cruzeiro vanished. The Celestial team tried to equalize the game again, which would bring qualification to Belo Horizonte.

However, the opposite occurred. The night belonged entirely to Danillo Bala. In injury time, the ball is contested in midfield with a show of misplaced passes from Cruzeiro until it reaches Bala, at the edge of the area.

The hero doesn’t hesitate and, from there, unleashes a rocket with his right foot. The ball nestles into the top corner, a fantastic goal.

With this, the city of dinosaurs smiled happily and will now follow their team even closer, filling the entire state of Paraíba with pride.

Now, they move on to the second phase with over R$ 1 million in their pocket and high morale. The club president even jokingly demanded the PIX payment.

As for Cruzeiro, they need to seriously reconsider their season’s trajectory, as an elimination like this leaves scars.

Presidente do Sousa tira sarro do Cruzeiro: 'Bullying ao quadrado para vocês, mineiros queridos' - ESPN

Image: Social Media Reproduction

Written by Vitor F L Miller.

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